IEM Electronic Engineering Technical Division (eETD)

Technical Visit to National Instruments Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

Reported by Dr. Huzein Fahmi.

14.04.2016 – eETD arranged a technical visit to National Instruments at Bayan Lepas, Penang

The Electronic Engineering Techni2016-07-16_TechVisit_NI_1cal Division (eETD) arranged a technical visit to the National Instruments facilities in Bayan Lepas, Penang on 14th April 2016. The technical visit was attended by 22 participants consisting of IEM members from Penang and Perlis. The talk started at 9:40am after the introduction and short briefing about NI by Mrs. Azian Wahab, Head of NI R&D Department. This was followed by eETD chairman, Dr. Leow Cheah Wei, who gave a welcoming speech to the floor together with a brief eETD introduction to the attendees. Subsequently, the IEM visitors were fortunate to have Mr. Chandran Nair, NI Vice President for Asia Pacific, spending a few minutes of his busy schedule to welcome them in NI Malaysia.

National Instruments (NI) is a technology pioneer and industry leader in virtual instrumentation. For 39 years, National Instruments has been transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to different companies worldwide. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has approximately 7,100 employees’ worldwide and direct operations in more than 50 countries. In 2010, National Instruments opened its R&D and Global Operations facility in Penang, Malaysia.


Do Engineering talk

Mr. Kam Kiam Leong conducting the "Do Engineering" talk.

Mr. Kam Kiam Leong conducting the “Do Engineering” talk.

The talk was conducted by Mr. Kaw Kiam Leong who is currently the Area Sales Manager for National Instruments Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.  Mr Kaw started by sharing that NI believe that hands-on learning is what solidifies theoretical concepts and prepares students for industry or advanced research. He further highlighted that the skills learned in the classroom paired with platforms that scale to industry prepare students to solve the grand challenges of tomorrow.

Mr Kaw then elaborated students can learn fundamental concepts and build up to more complex systems, with hands-on project work, to solidify the textbook theory. To achieve this, it is essential to provide hands-on tools and applicable, real-world experiences along the way that motivate them to continue. He then shared some education projects that utilize NI LabVIEW graphical system design software combined with scalable hardware platforms for each stage of engineering education. One of the good examples is the robotics programs using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® hardware that is powered by LabVIEW software in primary schools. Students then progress into more advanced programs using LabVIEW with NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) platforms in secondary schools to build more advanced robots in programs such as FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and WRO (World Robot Olympiad).

Visit to NI Manufacturing facilities

The IEM attendees were first briefed of the Health and Safety procedures by Senior Quality, Product & Process Engineering Manager, Mr. Ronald Lim.

During the visit, Mr. Ronald Lim explained that apart from Austin, Texas and Debrecen, Hungary, the NI Manufacturing facilities in Penang is capable to support various NI products such as data acquisition cards and control hardware for PXl platform. The group first stop was the Surface-Mount Technology (SMT) area. There, the IEM attendees were introduced to machines which use computer programmed pneumatics to pick and place chips or other components onto circuit boards, wave machines and automated optical inspection.

Next, the group then visited the NI manufacturing In-circuit test (ICT) area. The group was fortunate to saw how the electrical probe tests were conducted to check for any shorts and opens failure. The IEM attendees were then introduced to the functional test area where manufactured product was now subjected to functional test executions. Part of test efficiency, all result data gathering and analysis were all automated. The processes and the equipment were the top of the line and probably as sophisticated any factory in the world.

The group then was escorted for a quick visit to the NI repair center and logistic area before returning back for a group lunch and photo. Overall, it was a good learning experience for the members who took part in the visit.


Posted by jgkhor on Saturday, 16 July 2016.

Filed under eETD Blog.

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